Saturday, March 18, 2006

It turns out that the Cult sound excellent when they give themselves a five or six-year break between tours. It turns out Ian Astbury sounds great when he dumps the Doors and gets back to his roots. They sounded like they'd had a vacation, and come out of it super-charged and ready to sound like it was 1984 all over again.

It even turns out they even mixed up the usual set with some tunes I've never heard live before, like "Brother Wolf and Sister Moon" with a cello as bass. I even think Astbury lost most of his gut, though my learned colleagues differ with me on this matter.

It also turns out, however, that the Vic didn't exactly impress the hell out of the Cult. I think they cut their show short, probably because the audience was more like a coffee bar crowd than a bunch of rock fans. Basically, they cut our nuts off, metaphorically speaking.

See, it wasn't our fault. The show was sold out, and we were pressed up against the back like freshmen at the junior prom. In front of me was this house of a guy who was great at swaying and dipping in his air guitar solos but not so great at staying the hell out of my way. Boy, I thought to myself, you're damn lucky you're not about three hundred pounds lighter, or I'd give you such an ass kicking. That, combined with some broad yelling in my ear over "She Sells Sanctuary," I couldn't make a damnn thing out that the band said between takes.

Fortunately, the Cult was engaging in a live CD buyout. See, they tape the show, at a pretty high quality, as it turns out, and $25 will get you a two-disc set of the show. Lest you think they're recycling old shows, the recording is complete with every riff, solo and yell from the stage, that is, unless they're telling Saint Louis how much they love the Windy City.

So on the way home, we played the CD and found out exactly what Astbury was sounding off about on stage. He compared us to a Barnes and Noble poetry reading. He warned us not to make him "get Bon Jovi on your asses." He was unimpressed with the yelling and cheering.

And if I hadn't had some washed up midlife crisis brick house getting his bald spot between me and the show, I might have been able to do something to make them stay on stage longer than a lousy hour and a half.

Actually, I probably wouldn't have bothered. But you never know.